Hands on: Toshiba Satellite P500 laptop review

As well as the BDX2000 Blu-ray player, Toshiba also ushered in this Satellite P500 Blu-ray laptop at IFA.

Designed for the very high-end of the market and being able to read and write Blu-ray, it won't be cheap and is pretty darn heavy. We got a close up look at the new machine.

Toshiba satellite p500

The drive is the big selling point, and is compatible with Blu-ray ROM, BD-R and BD-RE and DVD SuperMulti DL +/RW. The laptop uses Resolution+ technology to upscale standard definition content.

Toshiba satellite p500

The 18.4-inch 16:9 1920x1080p TruBrite display is crisp and bright, while there's also a Harman Kardon sound system too.

What processor the unit uses is a bit of a mystery thus far. While Toshiba's blurb about the product promises Intel Core 2 Duo, the model we saw was running the 2.3Ghz AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core as you can see in our pic.

Toshiba satellite p500

The P500 was also sporting 4GB of memory and Windows Vista Ultimate, though expect this to be Windows 7 instead – the ETA for the model is "late October" – Windows 7 time!

Storage is purported to be up to 500GB depending on the model, while there will also be Nvidia dedicated graphics. In terms of ports, there's HDMI, plus eSATA, card reader slots and plenty of USBs.

Toshiba satellite p500

As a desktop replacement, the 18.4-inch model is huge but we have to say we weren't that impressed with the sturdiness of the build – not what we'd expect from such a high-end laptop. Mind you, this was a pre-production sample of course.

Toshiba satellite p500

The screen was a little bendable, while the keyboard is terrible. It continues Toshiba's current trend of making glossy keyboards for its entertainment laptops, but they're rubbish to type on and pressing the keys makes the keyboard vibrate flimsily. Yep, so this isn't meant to be a workhorse, but when better keyboards are available on £300 laptops (not least from Toshiba itself) it's a bit of a let-down.

The mouse buttons are better, but the trackpad is pretty rough to the touch. Nice and grippy though we guess.

Toshiba satellite p500

But we won't the usability bits put us off; this is an extremely powerful notebook. Mind you, how we truly feel about the P500 will depend on the price.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.